About 10 years ago, I made a huge change in a long time relationship. After about a 15 year relationship, I divorced my dry cleaner because they wouldn’t stop busting my buttons!

Time and time again, when I’d button my shirt, the buttons – especially on the collar and sleeves – would crumble in my hands and seemingly disappear into thin air.

Now, to be fair, my old dry cleaner (and a few others I tried) would replace my buttons free of charge, but how does that help when you’re on the road or running late for a meeting?  More often than not when traveling, I wouldn’t even have buttons on my sleeves or collar!

Stupid me. I put up with poor service because of habit. I, like so many of you simply avoided change.

Well, I’ve been married to Sam’s Cleaners & Tailoring  (412.343-4933 – 1604 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh) – yes married…I’m that loyal –  for about 10 years! I’d bet that Sam busts people’s buttons too, but you’d never know it. They carefully inspect their work before returning their customer’s clothes.

Plus, they’re nicer and they even know my name!

I spent thousands of dollars over the years with my old dry cleaner and the interesting thing is that they never contacted my once to find out why I stopped going to them. They never contacted me despite the amount of my business and despite the fact that they have all of my contact information! Amazing!

The other amazing thing is that I’ve never received a discount at Sam’s and I’ve told at least 50 people how great they are and never received a commission. And, I’ll continue to spread positive word of mouth without expecting anything back from Sam’s. No bother.

A couple questions.

How many brands do you spread positive WOM for that are like Sam’s?

How many of you are busting your customer’s buttons and know it or don’t know it?

For those of you who have a marketing plan that you follow, do you have a retention and win-back plan?

Now can Sam do a better job marketing?  Sure, we call can. But, when you deliver flawlessly on the core basic brand promise of your business in a nice and friendly fashion, in the majority of businesses you’re already far ahead of the game.

Take Sam’s lesson to heart and stop busting your customer’s buttons.

P.S.: Always remember if you want people to buzz about you, do something buzzworthy!

Photo by Photofigg.